Embarking on a refurbishment or renovation project can be a daunting prospect. It’s hard to know what work needs to be done to actualise the changes you want, and who to call for the labour. Similarly, for a new build it is difficult to determine how much work it will take to bring about your vision. This is the case for both commercial and residential projects. On the other hand, you may know the work that needs to be done, but might not be able to handle all of the various elements that will bring the whole project together. In such situations, deferring to a contractor is the answer.
Our Featured Pro, TAH Construction & Property Development, provides not only contracting services but also planning and project management. Comprising of architectural designers, project owners, designers and engineers, TAH Construction also has its own construction team. This means they will handle every aspect of your project. We spoke with them to hear more about their services…
What makes your commercial services differ from other companies?
One thing that sets us apart is our flexibility. We offer complete Design & Build services, with architects on hand to help you balance your design requirements with your budget. Our construction staff is experienced at working with businesses that need to maintain full or partial operations while expanding or improving their workspaces. If necessary, we can customise a project schedule to include evenings, nights, and weekends, allowing your business to operate as efficiently as possible while undergoing improvements. We have extensive experience with commercial clients, from restaurants to offices and even churches. We will work closely with your ideas during the early stages of a project and throughout the various stages of design. We’ll also suggest materials and methods that will optimise the efficiency and economy of the project.
What do you take into account before working on a commercial property?
For each project, the team brings vision, careful planning and excellent project management skills, as well as attention to detail, all whilst appreciating the balance between design, functionality and budget. As the principal contractor, the TAH team delivers a friendly, stress-free approach to the entire process, coupled with the highest degree of professionalism. Working from scratch, the company offers a full range of services and recognises that every commercial fit-out project is different, challenging, and unique to the client. An important thing to ensure before embarking on a project is that thought has been given to health and safety, as well as the project’s ‘green’ credentials. This includes sourcing sustainable products and finding more ways for waste to be recycled and minimised in the property. This can be done through life cycle costing and an emphasis on durability and ease of maintenance.
What are the challenges to doing an office fit out?
For any project, the construction process is rarely straight forward; complex problems can often lead to conflict which in turn can cost time and quality. This is particularly true for office fit outs, but we undertake to manage these challenges and resolve issues before they become problems. Great office interior design should accurately mirror the core values of your company and increase the productivity of your staff. TAH has been designing offices and interiors for 25 years, and our architects as well as designers have many years of experience in leading office fit out projects. We find that by immersing ourselves in your world, it enables us to understand your business challenges and office or commercial space limitations. This then allows our commercial designers to produce an inspirational office design solution that will give your staff both the vision and motivation they need to exceed goals.
Our interior designers will ensure that any idea or solution they recommend ensures your office space is utilised as efficiently as possible. You may actually find that you don’t need as much space as you currently occupy! Where practical, they’ll make suggestions as to how you could reduce your overall running costs, perhaps by reducing the amount of space you lease. We strongly recommend that you review your office accommodation or commercial space on a regular basis and not wait for traditional triggers such as lease expiry or overcrowding.
What is your most popular residential service?
From our experiences we found that refurbishments are always in high demand. TAH can refurbish your home both with and without structural work; as an entire home-wide transformation all in one go, or with a phased approach should you wish to do it over a period of time. An experienced design & build construction company, we always provide advice on how to maximise your property’s value whether it is a home to live in or one you’re refurbishing to sell or rent out.
What is the consultation process usually like?
We manage the entire project and this process begins with us speaking with you in order to determine what you want the final result to look like. We can also prepare all of the contracts required as well as all of the planning permissions. Next, we’ll arrange a construction schedule in order to make sure that the work you want carried out will be done in a timely manner. We can also source and buy all of your of fixtures, fittings and furniture if you so wish. We seamlessly manage the entire process for you from start to finish and can provide all the finishing touches, including decorative accessories and artwork.
What entails acquiring planning permission for clients?
Before undertaking a design project we would assess the history and context of the site and its surroundings. We research the local planning authority and establish what planning applications previous neighbouring properties have proposed. We also examine whether the property is a listed building or if it is within a conservation area or flood risk zone. These factors would affect the planning applications, and additional documentation would be required to supplement the proposal.
Following the initial site assessment (which can be conducted remotely to be efficient), a site survey would be carried out to gather all the existing dimensions, and a photographic survey to document the existing site. Usually within 1-2 weeks, the initial drawings are prepared with options for the client to consider. They can be discussed with our consultants to develop the best proposal. We are always in communication with the clients, amending drawings to their feedback and making sure that they are feasible for the planning applications. Once everything is finalised and approved by the client, the application will be submitted to the local authority. Our consultants submit most applications online but there are occasions (usually for larger developments) when it may be necessary to prepare a written application with bound drawings and documents.
What do you do when a client approaches you not knowing what they want?
Our team is comprised of architects and designers that have many years of experience in leading renovation and refurbishment projects. They have also garnered experience in working with people who may not have a clear idea of the final result they want. They will work with you to produce ideas and solutions for your project. They will ensure that every area of your home’s design receives their full attention. We find that by immersing ourselves in your world it enables us to understand your needs, challenges and limitations. This then allows our commercial designers to produce various interior design ideas and test various options to create an inspirational home design for you.
Have you been approached by clients that already have their own builders or interior designers for example?
Yes. We recognise that ultimately, all construction projects—no matter the size or type—require a team that can manage a full range of services in such a way that the team’s designers, architects, engineers, and project owners all work together in a highly efficient as well as effective manner. TAH can provide and/or enhance a project’s needs by providing two primary service areas of project consulting: project scheduling and project management. Within these two areas, TAH offers an array of services that can enhance any existing project team or, if a project’s need is greater, we can provide a full-service management and construction team.
Because the construction industry continues to evolve, the range and depth of information required to effectively plan a project can seem overwhelming. Success depends heavily on highly detailed advanced planning. TAH knows—and has demonstrated with extreme precision—that the key to intelligent project planning is accurate project scheduling. At TAH, each schedule becomes a custom-designed plan tailored to fit the individualised features of each project as well as the capabilities and resources of each project’s owner, developer, contractor, and construction manager.
Are you approached by clients that have very tight budgets?
We have and we will give you a firm contractual price for a total turnkey project. We will also take into consideration the type of construction material to be used as well as the full cost to construct before you make large expenditures for work drawings. After financing has been agreed to, we will arrange for detailed architectural and engineering work drawings to be submitted, allowing for qualified subcontract bids on work critical for the start of construction. These bids will be reviewed and the subcontractors selected. This will speed up the construction process and lower costs. We will also be your general contractor and provide the project management team required for your project in order to further keep costs down.
What measures and features do you put in place to make a new build sustainable?
To make buildings sustainable, we consider how all elements of a building’s design work together to meet the needs of its owners, occupants and environment. We believe that it is only by considering the total building design that we can create buildings that are efficient with resources, affordable to build, good to inhabit and appropriate to their context. We bring together all the building designers and technical specialists needed to shape a new building or retrofit an existing building. Our strategy covers carbon, water, materials, climate change, community and the environment, and operations. We measure all projects against an absolute ideal in each category. So, for carbon, the ideal is for all of our projects to be carbon neutral in operation over a yearly cycle. At the start of each project, the client and the design team set a strategy that allows them to design their project using these objectives.